About the Distillery
The Great Southern Distillery was first opened in 2004 by Cameron Syme, who spent time working for a multinational commercial law firm, at that time he had 10 years’ experience as an accountant in Australia and the United Kingdom and gained a UK Trades Board “General Certificate in Distilling”.
Cameron’s research was very thorough taking him 14 years to collect enough resources and information to create something extra special.
His heritage was in fact from Scotland where his family history of distilling took place, so owning a distillery seemed like it was destiny.
The distillery is very small by world standards but they like it this way as it helps to spend more time producing quality single malt whisky. Each batch of spirit is produced and bottled by hand which means that they only produce spirit of the highest standard.
“Our first released single malt whisky won a medal at the London Wine and Spirit show in 2008. We believe this is testament to our product” – Cameron Syme
Ben Kagi who is the master distiller, is a local from Albany, he joined the company in 2005 and put his refined palate, honed over many years as a winemaker and associate judge in wine shows, to good use. After initially looking after product quality control (yes, this does mean Ben gets to spend his days tasting spirits), he is now the main distiller and has been instrumental in setting the standards for the award winning Limeburners Single Malt and Whisky Liqueur.
One of the great things about the process of making their single malt is that ingredients are sourced locally and the distillery is powered by the local Albany wind farm making the distillery extremely sustainable.
The distillery has two stills which are constructed of traditional copper which were custom made in Hobart, Tasmania by Australian Still makers Knapp Lewer. The design of the stills are very important to achieve a specific spirit profile.
Distilling is a hands-on affair at Limeburners and the mashing and distillation process occurs in full view of visitors.
The barrels sourced for maturation of the spirit are carefully chosen. The distillery uses single and double barrel maturation, in an array of oak cask which include Bourbon and old Australian Apera, Port and Tokay. Some of the barrels used are over 80 years old.
Limeburners can trace the provenance of some of their barrels to the US bourbon houses in the 1930’s and 1940s. The distillery also uses some wine barrels and brandy barrels for whisky maturation. The barrels can be refilled up to 3 times and then they are passed to wineries to help in the process of making fortified wines, an evolution of flavours.
Every release is a single barrel expression of Single Malt Whisky, with bottles individually numbered. Whilst always maintaining the wonderful characteristics of this hand distilled and award winning malt whisky each expression has unique qualities. Consistent characters include malt, spicy, cinnamon, fruit, and vanilla. Each barrel will impart other characteristics unique to the barrel.
Limeburners has won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at international spirit competitions, and the world’s leading whisky critic had this to say:
“beautiful mouth feel: my word, this is well made spirit!”
“This no age statement malt spent an unspecified amount of time in American brandy cask before being finished in bourbon casks. Does it work? Yes it does. But now that’s torn it lads. You are supposed to start off with a bloody horrible whisky and get better. Now you have gone and made a rod for your own back. Good on you!”
“another big grapey statement from Limeburners. The fruit is thick, clean, sugar-soaked and dripping from the barley; the playful spices on the oak are to die for”
– Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2012
Explore the range of wonderful whiskies from one of Australia’s best kept secrets.